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A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have! - Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bob Barr Thanks Bush for Belatedly Supporting OCS Drilling: “Better Seven Years Late than Never”

“Why did President George W. Bush wait more than seven years to lift the executive order blocking Outer Continental Shelf energy development?”, asks Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate for president. “It’s a step forward, but OCS exploration will proceed only if Congress follows the president in lifting its statutory ban. Time is running out to get the job done this year, despite gasoline running over $4 a gallon.”

President George H.W. Bush issued the executive order prohibiting OCS development in 1990. Congress approved its ban in 1981. “The result has been to leave Americans dependent on foreign oil producers, including countries like Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Russia, and Venezuela, which increasingly are unstable, hostile, or both,” notes Barr. “Congressional Democrats and some Republicans, such as Sen. John McCain, also have closed off access to other large domestic sources of energy, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and western lands filled with oil shale.”

President Bush may be sincere in his desire to expand U.S. oil production, but, says Barr, “he waited seven years too many to act. He should have started pressing for access to the OCS and other energy-rich territory immediately after taking office, given the price Americans paid for relying so heavily on foreign oil.”

“Presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain is no better. He long supported the OCS ban, only recently changing his position, and even now he argues that states should be able to block exploration,” observes Barr. “Moreover, Sen. McCain continues to oppose allowing even environmentally sensitive energy exploration in ANWR. He obviously doesn’t understand the gravity of America’s ever-increasing reliance on more expensive and unstable sources of foreign oil. Unfortunately, the Democrats are even more oblivious to the imperative of expanding America’s energy options.”

America possesses hundreds of billions of barrels worth of oil. Yet “Washington continues to stand in the way of turning that oil into gasoline for Americans. President Bush has belatedly eliminated one barrier to energy development. Now it’s up to Congress to stop blocking Americans from developing America’s energy resources,” says Barr.

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